Monday, November 7, 2011

my restaurant rules

Today, Fabio took me to lunch.

Now, I have a bit of a 'thing' about restaurants and cafes -- so there are only a few where I can relax and enjoy the food without worrying about germs, or Bandaids in the soup, or whatever.

I've had some bad experiences -- we went out with friends one night in Kalgoorlie, and they picked a place I didn't like the look of, but I forced myself to eat, and then half-way through dinner, a HUGE COCKROACH RAN UP MY LEG and I'm NOT EVEN KIDDING.
Talk about ways to kill an appetite.

Anyway, today was not like that. This particular place is clean and efficient and the food is really good, and there are a lot of other things I like about it.
While we were waiting, I started compiling a list of My Restaurant Rules -- things that will bring me back time after time, or send me away before I've even had a chance to order.

See how many of these tick your boxes, too.

1. Your place better be clean. I understand that on a busy day, individual tables might not get cleaned off as quickly as I'd like, but I can tell if you don't regularly clean thoroughly.

2. I don't care how convenient they are -- do NOT use plastic tablecloths. They're ugly and feel cheap and greasy.

3. If your waitress calls me 'love', chews gum, or says 'youse' (as in, what can I get for youse?) I will probably get up and leave.

4. I HATE noisy restaurants. Tiled floors, metal chairs and assorted clatter is a big turn-off.

5. Buy chairs with a wide, deep seat, PLEASE? and try not to pick the ones with backs that tilt back so far I have to sit perched on the edge of the seat for fear of falling over backwards.

6. Men will LOVE cutlery with long handles. And I LOVE cutlery with rounded edges that feels comfortable in my hand.

7. Use nice big plates, wide bowls and decent sized cups. I feel embarrassed when I accidentally push food off the plate because it's too small to allow me to cut anything up.

8. Think carefully about the decor and design -- the place we went to today has 2 full length walls of glass looking out onto the street, which provides a view BUT lets in so much glare that I often have to eat wearing sunglasses. Not cool.
And one of the (two) doors blows open when it's windy and raining, letting in Arctic blasts of air -- the only way to stop it is to lock the door. That's bad design.

9. TRAIN YOUR STAFF! I don't want my waitress to settle in for a chat and become my new best friend, but I expect a certain level of friendliness and efficiency.

10. Finally, please for the love of God, buy steady tables. It's really disconcerting to have the table rock everytime someone leans on it. The small ones with a central pedestal should have supporting ribs under the table top to keep it still.

Do you think I'm being picky? Or is it reasonable to expect comfort in the little things when you're paying for it?
Tell me what you think.

PS. if you're interested .. I had the chicken and pesto linguine without mushrooms, and it was YUMMY.


  1. A stint of waitressing a few years ago very nearly put me off dining out permanently!
    I saw things I will never be able to unsee.

  2. All of the above.
    My number one, though, is that they have to make a cup of tea in the same way they make a cup of coffee - and that is very rare - especially as the tea sometimes costs more than a coffee. Don't get me started on this - no-one would accept a coffee not made the way they requested it. The barista works hard at getting everything perfect. But order a cup of tea and it's treated with less respect than bringing a bottle of water to the table. I like my tea black and weak - I don't want it stewed, I don't want milk spilled into the bottom of the cup, I don't want the water boiled to extinction in the cappuccino machine, if I ask for English Breakfast I don't want Earl Grey, I don't want it to sit on the counter for ten minutes before they bring it to me, I don't want a tea bag - especially not a cheap, no-name one - I could go on and on and on.....

  3. Yes, on training the waitstaff. I was not raised in a particularly fancy household, but I was taught that when you were finished your meal, you lay your cutlery across the plate, to indicate that you're done. So many waitresses come around while you're still holding a knife and fork to ask if you're finished with the plate. If I was finished I wouldn't still be holding my fork!

  4. You and I sound very much alike. I hyperventilate when I know we are trying a "new" restaurant. I like the ones I know won't give me salmonella.
    I've had cockroaches IN my food when we thought to branch out one day. Ishhk.

  5. omg Romina! *faints dead away*

    Yes, No-one -- SO ANNOYING! or whisking your drink away beofre you've finished....

    hi Lizzie, good to see you. And I so agree! stewed tea is like paint thinner.

    Shar -- I'm torn between wanting to know and NOT wanting to know. You know?

  6. I don't think you're being too picky at all. If you're paying for good service, you should get good service. In a place that's quiet enough so you don't have to shout your order above the din of metal chairs and conversation echoing off the walls. Decent sized plates too.


Hey, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love to hear what you have to say even if you disagree with me. I have only one request -- please keep it polite.